On Friday I was doing a workshop in Dayton, Washington on Customer Service, Choose Your Attitude, and Change, and after the day I was completely exhausted….so I did not do my weekly blog because I just did not have the energy. My wife and I proceeded to Walla Walla, Washington to have dinner and then on to an RV site to hang for the night.
The next morning I could have written a blog, but I admit I got lazy and was simply enjoying my coffee while doing a almost final read through of my book coming out in February. I say almost final read through because I found so many things to change that one more person is going to re-read it for errors and then I just can’t help myself…because I will probably do one more read through.
When I arrived home, I posted about the guilt I was feeling over skipping this week…and guess what? Yup, I tossed and turned all night long and decided I just had to write about Catholic guilt this morning so I could put out a blog and release myself from the awful guilt I was feeling.
Here’s the funny thing about Catholic guilt, it is so persuasive that even if a person is only peripherally exposed to it, the guilt works. My mother, may she rest in peace, was raised Catholic and she told us this story when she was growing up. She was such a good girl that when she went to confession, she struggled to think of something to tell the priest. My mother was not a normal child, she didn’t even pick on her younger brother. She would use the old standby, “I had unkind thoughts”, which I really doubt she ever had. She would tell us that in her all girls Catholic school (now that I would have loved going to), the nuns would tell them that they shouldn’t use a white tablecloth for dinner because the boys would then think about bed sheets. Really??? Can you believe that??? My sisters and I would roll around the floor laughing our asses off at the stuff my mother would tell us about her youth.
My father was and still is a cad who thinks non-stop about sex and he would often joke about my mother’s early notions on the topic. I think she may have been taught that french kissing would lead to pregnancy….so my dad said, “no problem, we can do other things!” He would try to sneak his hand under her bra and she would politely push it away.
Since my father is an atheist, we were not brought up in a strict Catholic home, although we were baptized because there was no way around that, but that didn’t stop my mother from sneaking around and reading us bible stories when we were young. She taught us Catholic guilt through that religious osmosis thing…role model the concept and presto, your offspring learn it.
Who wouldn’t want to be absolved of every indiscretion with a few Hail Mary’s or Our Father’s? Doesn’t everyone want to sit, kneel, stand a hundred times during Mass? I liked the structure of the Catholic faith and when I fell for a Catholic girl in college, I went through the whole confirmation exercise because she was hot…it made sense to follow her to church on Sundays.
I haven’t stepped foot in a church in over thirty-five years with the exception of the few weddings and funerals I’ve attended over the years, but that Catholic guilt thing will undoubtedly stay with me for the rest of my life. I suppose there are worse things in life. And now….I feel so much better after doing a blog…..
So…if you have that Catholic guilt thing going because you’ve never picked up a single book of mine…well….here’s your chance to absolve yourself of that terrible feeling. Yup, you know the drill, click one of the links below!